Use su sentido común cuando vaya a la piscina

Sobre la autor: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la EPA desde el 2002 y está a cargo del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Comunicaciones Multilingües. Como periodista, dirigió la oficina en Washington de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales.

image of toddler stanind in a kiddie pool wearing a hat, sunglasses and life jacketEl fin de semana del Día de la Recordación por los caídos en guerras de Estados Unidos indica el comienzo extraoficial de la época veraniega en el continente estadounidense. Y con esta nueva temporada, muchos estadounidenses reanudan otro ritual veraniego—la excursión a la piscina de la vecindad. Sea al final de una larga jornada de trabajo o durante el fin de semana, muchos niños entusiastas obligan a sus padres a llevarlos a la piscina para un momento de diversión. No lo tomen a mal. ¡Me encanta el verano! Me encantan las cálidas playas arenosas y nadar en la piscina. Sin embargo, con el pasar del tiempo, no sé si se trata de mayor sabiduría o cautela, pero a veces lo tengo que pensar dos veces antes de entrar al agua, especialmente las piscinas infantiles, cuando veo demasiados niñitos envueltos en pañales.

Al investigar el tema de este blog, confirmé mis sospechas. A través de Estados Unidos, ha habido un aumento en el brote de enfermedades relacionadas a las aguas de recreo (RWI, por sus siglas en inglés) en los últimos veinte años asociadas con las piscinas, parques acuáticos, piscinas de agua caliente y otros cuerpos de agua. Uno pensaría que los  antimicrobianos y el cloro usado para tratar el agua de las piscinas sería suficiente para mantener las piscinas seguras de algunos gérmenes y bacterias que se difunden en el agua como el Cripto el E coli.

La realidad es que se necesita algo más que las sustancias químicas para proteger el agua. Una buena dosis de sentido común es esencial. He aquí algunas pautas básicas para la natación sana. En primer lugar—no nade si usted tiene diarrea. Tampoco deje que sus hijos naden si tienen diarrea ya que el agua en la piscina servirá para transmitir los gérmenes y enfermar a los demás. En segundo lugar, evite tragar el agua de la piscina. Esto es algo que los niños pequeños muchas veces hacen inconscientemente, pero tiene que educarles sobre el tema a temprana edad. Las buenas prácticas de higiene son esenciales dentro y fuera de la piscina. Dúchese antes de nadar. Lávese las manos después de ir al baño o de cambiar pañales. Lleve a sus hijos al baño con frecuencia y cámbiele el pañal aún cuando no se lo pidan. Cuando ya los niños dicen tener los deseos de ir al baño, podría ser demasiado tarde. Cambie los pañales en el baño o en el área de cambio de pañales. No lo haga cerca de la piscina. Sobre todo, lave a su hijo (especialmente la parte trasera) con agua y jabón antes de nadar. Suena sencillo, ¿verdad? Es puro sentido común. Con unos pasos sencillos, usted puede protegerse a sí mismo, a su familia y amistades. Y por cierto, antes de ir a la piscina o la playa, ¡acuérdese de la crema de protección solar! Disfrute el verano.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Have Fun With Science This Summer

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Summer vacation is fast approaching and many parents are looking for activities to entertain their children during the summer months. Now is the best time to plan ahead so you and your children can find fun ways to explore the environment and learn about science at summer camps and children’s museums throughout the country. In the Washington area, there are many museum-related science enrichment opportunities for children. Organizations like 4-H, the Boys and Girls Scouts of America also offer fun and hands-on activities during the summer and year round. In fact, these organizations were engaging youth in environmental protection even before going green became the latest fad.

EPA’s website offers a variety of fun facts and projects for students and educators to learn more about the environment and the importance of science in our daily lives. For example, the Water Science and Technology Office, provides interesting activities, science projects and games. The Agency’s Office of Environmental Education offers educational resources, grants opportunities and fellowships to encourage individuals to learn more about how their actions affect the environment. This knowledge is essential to enable them to make better informed decisions to protect the world we live in.

In speaking with many of my colleagues at EPA and other federal agencies such as NASANOAAUSGS, there is one common theme in their motivation to pursue a career in the sciences. In the majority of the cases, their love of science did not start in the classroom. It started with personal experiences at home, a trip to the park, a visit to the beach, a fishing trip, a starry spring evening… These simple experiences helped awaken their sense of wonder and awe at an early age. This sense of exploration for the world around us is essential for any researcher or scientist. Why do we see lightning before hearing thunder? Why do certain elements react the way they do? What are the impacts of human activities on the environment?

We don’t have to have Ph.D’s to teach our children to explore their surroundings. There are simple steps we can take to protect our environment. And when you come to think about it, at the heart of many of these activities, you will find science. So let the fun begin!

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Diviértase con las ciencias este verano

Sobre la autor: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la EPA desde el 2002 y está a cargo del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Comunicaciones Multilingües. Como periodista, dirigió la oficina en Washington de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales.

Las vacaciones de verano se avecinan rápidamente y muchos padres están buscando actividades para entretener a sus hijos durante esos meses de ocio. Ahora es el momento de planificar con anticipación para encontrar maneras divertidas en las cuales usted y sus hijos pueden explorar el medio ambiente y aprender sobre las ciencias en campamentos de verano y museos de niños en todo el país. En el área de Washington, DC, hay muchas oportunidades para niños de enriquecimiento científico afiliados a museosOrganizaciones como los 4-H, los Niños y Niñas Exploradores de América también ofrecen una variedad de actividades durante el verano y todo el año. En efecto, estas organizaciones han estado fomentando el civismo ambiental mucho antes de que el movimiento ecológico verde se convirtiera en el último grito de la moda.

El sitio Web de EPA ofrece una variedad de datos y proyectos divertidos para que estudiantes y educadores aprendan más sobre el medio ambiental y el papel importante que desempeñan las ciencias en nuestras vidas cotidianas. Por ejemplo, la Oficina de las Ciencias y Tecnología de Agua brinda actividades interesantes, proyectos de ciencia y juegos. La Oficina de Educación Ambiental de la agencia ofrece recursos educativos, subvenciones y oportunidades para becas de investigación para alentar a los individuos a aprender más sobre cómo sus acciones afectan el medio ambiente. Este conocimiento es esencial para facilitar que tomen decisiones mejor informadas para proteger el mundo donde viven.

Al hablar con muchos de mis colegas en EPA y otras agencias federales tales como la NASA, NOAA, USGS, hay un tema común en su motivación para buscar una carrera en las ciencias. En la mayoría de los casos, su amor por las ciencias no comienzó en el salón de clases. Se despertó a raíz de vivencias personales en el hogar, una excursión al parque, una visita a la playa, un viaje de pesca, una noche estrellada de primavera….Estas experiencias sencillas ayudaron a despertar un sentir de curiosidad y admiración a temprana edad. El sentir de exploración del mundo a nuestro alrededor es esencial para cualquier investigador o científico. ¿Por qué vemos los rayos antes de los truenos? ¿Por qué ciertos elementos reaccionan de cierta manera? ¿Cuáles son los impactos de actividades humanas en el medio ambiente?

No tenemos que tener grandes títulos ni doctorados para enseñar a nuestros hijos a que exploren sus alrededores. Hay pasos sencillos que podemos tomar para proteger nuestro medio ambiente. Y cuando lo pensamos realmente, al centro de muchas de estas actividades encontrarán las ciencias. ¡Diviértanse!

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Hurry – Mom Has a Meeting Today!

About the Author: Kelly Leovic manages EPA’s Educational Outreach Program in Research Triangle Park, NC and loves sharing science with students of all ages. On occasion, she has to dress up for meetings. Kelly is a regular blogger here on Greenversations. Some of her most recent blogs can be found at http://blog.epa.gov/2009/01/30/what-would-you-do-with-1-million-and-an-acre-of-riverfront-property/ and http://blog.epa.gov/2009/01/13/watts-up-with-school-energy/.

As the mother of three, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve rushed my kids out the door yelling, “Hurry, I have a meeting today!” As they matured (yikes – the oldest is in high school!), they began to pick up on the visual cues foreshadowing a meeting: a suit, heels, and coffee in the container with a sippy-cup lid. But a question still lingered in their minds: what really happens in those meetings our moms and dads keep rushing to attend?

In February, 40 preschoolers from First Environments Early Learning Center found out when they walked over to EPA’s Campus in Research Triangle Park. Our little visitors showed up at the Security check point ready to go – complete with their very own ID badges with hand-drawn pictures of themselves. They slipped through the metal detector, careful not to touch the sides and showed their IDs to Ms.Burton at the Guard’s Station.

image of small children sitting at conference tableWe spilt the kids into two groups, and I headed to the elevators with my 20 preschoolers and three teachers. We stopped along the way to visit Brian, a dad who works on the 4th floor and has lots of computer screens. Next was our big meeting on the 6th floor, a great room with a commanding view of the campus and lake. The students took their places around the table, and I explained that we were having this meeting because we had to solve the problem of too much trash going into our landfills. (Being mostly kids of EPA parents, most know what a landfill or dump is!) I showed them my big bag of “trash,” and we sorted through it trying to figure out how to keep each item out of the landfill. I was so impressed with the creativity of these bright 4 and 5 year olds. With their innovative ideas, nothing was left in the trash, and very few items even made it to the recycle bin. Instead they suggested numerous ways for most items to be REUSED!

image of small children in lab listening to scientist speakAfter our very successful meeting, we rode the elevator down to the 2nd floor where Miss Susan showed us the library with their very cool movable shelves. Some parents work in laboratories, so we visited Miss Sania in the demo lab to learn what research scientists might do when they go to work. One of my favorite questions from an inquisitive young lady was “Where do all the hallways go?” We soon found out as we strolled into our sunny atrium, enjoying the natural light. We ascended to the 5th floor on a different elevator where we saw another dad, Mr. Rocky, in the hallway who showed us all of his computers. We could all tell that Mr. Rocky really loves his job.

image of small children looking at model of EPA Research Triangle Park campusAs we headed back to the Cafe for snack, the kids thought it was neat that we have a Post Office and Fitness Center, but the most exciting part for me was to see the smiles that the kids brought to the faces of our EPA employees as they passed in the hall.

So whose idea was this field trip anyway? A teacher explained that one day on the playground overlooking our campus, they noticed that several of the kids had constructed a mini-EPA building with their blocks. This architectural feat led to conversations about what parents do at work, and the next thing you know, we had a field trip in the works. Do you think we need to include some preschoolers in our next “brainstorming” meeting?

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

What Would YOU do with $1 Million and an Acre of Riverfront Property?

About the author: Kelly Leovic works in EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory and manages the Environmental and Community Outreach Program in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
 
I asked this question to the 3rd grade class at Y.E. Smith Elementary School at EPA’s Science Day on December 5th. EPA began hosting the annual Science Day at the downtown Durham school in 2004 as part of our outreach efforts to inspire students’ interest in science and the environment.
 
Twenty-two EPA employees, as well as four community volunteers, participated in EPA’s Science Day, by teaching hands-on environment science activities. Each presenter shared their lesson with three classes, linking their activities to the N.C. Standard Course of Study to supplement the grade level curriculum. Topics ranged from geology to energy consumption to water quality.
 
image of author holding a large map in a classronSo, getting back to my 3rd graders…I give each student a fake $1 million dollar bill, a “piece of land,” and colored pencils to draw what they would build on their riverfront property with their million dollars. The idea is that each student’s piece of land is part of the ecosystem and what one person does on their land can affect others as the pieces are assembled. The activity is called “Sum of the Parts” and is from Project WET. As the students complete their million-dollar drawings, we put together the pieces of the river “puzzle” on the floor and then brainstorm about the types of water pollution that could come from what they built on their property. Types of pollution included run-off, litter, oil from boats, fishing line, and my personal favorite, sewage, which I referred to as pee and poop. We then begin to talk about how upstream development and the resulting pollution can affect those downstream.
 
Most of the 3rd graders built huge houses; some even drew “mansions.” Having done this activity with students of all ages, I always enjoy seeing their creativity followed by their recognition that consumption can affect the environment. In comparison, middle schoolers like to build malls and shoe stores, and adults tend toward solar homes and organic gardening. Regardless, “Sum of the Parts” is always a hit because it encourages the students to think about the impact of their personal activities on the environment. Plus, it gives them the opportunity to be creative with their drawings, and, much to their delight, they get to keep the fake $1 million!
 
To learn more about past EPA Science Days, go to the Durham Public Schools Partners in the Community link at http://www.dpsnc.net/channel-4/partners-in-education/epa-science-day. If you are located in the Research Triangle Park area and would like to have EPA come speak at your school or to your community group, check out our Speakers Bureau at www.epa.gov/rtpspeakers. Speaking topics include air quality, climate change, sustainability, and water quality, as well as science fair judging.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Teaching Kids About Recycling

About the author: Viccy Salazar joined EPA in 1995. She works in our Seattle office on waste reduction, resource conservation and stewardship issues.

Recycling is hard. Sometimes I don’t even know what to recycle so when it comes time to talk kids about recycling, where do I start?? Well, I had to teach recycling to a bunch of preschoolers on America Recycles Day, here is what I learned.

Make the rules simple –

  • Cans, paper, boxes, jars, and bottles go in the recycle bin.
  • If it is dirty, clean it or throw it away
  • No Lids, they go in the trash.
  • No food in the recycle bin – even if it is attached to something else.
  • If it is broken – in the trash
  • If it can be used again, use it again or donate it to someone who can.

Practice – When we actually practiced, the kids couldn’t remember what went where until they had tried it a few times.

Expect mistakes – use them as a teaching opportunity.

Relate it to protecting the earth and the animals. The kids really wanted to help out.

Try it out with your kids. It was fun, informative and reminded me what to recycle. How did it work?

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

At The Movies

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Lea la versión en español a continuación de esta entrada en inglés. Some links exit EPA or have Spanish content. Exit EPA Disclaimer

As a mother of a four daughters (including a six year old), I’m always on the look out for good family movies we can all enjoy. Trying to satisfy the film tastes of the entire family is not always an easy task. Nonetheless, I’ve noticed something lately. Hollywood has started to incorporate green issues into movies for children with some commercial success. So we can still go to the movies and enjoy the experience while getting something positive out of the movie at the same time.

Just this past weekend, the whole family went to see WALL-E, the computer animated movie about a determined robot or more precisely a Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class unit—hence the name—entrusted with the mission of cleaning up a trash covered planet. I’m not going to talk about the plot. But I must confess that upon reading the reviews, I went to see the movie with some hesitation. The movie was somewhat “dark” by traditional children movie standards. Nonetheless, my six year old enjoyed it, even though the true message went right over her head. My elder daughters were quite moved by the experience. Some of us shed a tear or two. I guess it was a win-win all the way around.

Other family movies with a green twist are Happy Feet and Hoot to name a few. And for the true film enthusiasts in the Washington area, I recommend a yearly green ritual—the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital which usually takes place in March.

So, if going to the movies, a park, or the zoo is your day of family fun, by all means, go ahead and enjoy. Yet, if you prefer to use your computer to teach your kids about environmental awareness, recycling, children environmental health tips, etc., please visit us at www.epa.gov.

Va Al Cine

Sobre la autor: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la EPA desde el 2002 y está a cargo del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Comunicaciones Multilingües. Como periodista, dirigió la oficina en Washington de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales.

Como madre de cuatro hijas (incluyendo la menor que tiene seis años), siempre estoy buscando buenas películas que toda la familia pueda disfrutar. Sin embargo, el encontrar una película que satisfaga los gustos de todo el mundo no siempre es una labor sencilla. No obstante, sí he notado algo en el cine últimamente. Hollywood ha empezado a incorporar temas “verdes” (de perspectiva ecológica) en las películas para niños y han tenido éxito comercial. En ese caso, se puede ir al cine, disfrutar la experiencia y también sacar un mensaje positivo a la vez.

Este pasado fin de semana, fuimos toda la familia a ver WALL-E,
la película de dibujos computarizados animados sobre un robot cuyo nombre proviene de sus siglas en inglés para una unidad para compactar desperdicios – “Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class”. Dicho robot tiene la misión de limpiar toda la basura que cubre el planeta. No voy a hablar sobre la trama de la película. Debo confesar que cuando leí la crítica de la película, fui a verla con cierta vacilación. De primera intención, la película parecía algo lúgubre conforme a las normas tradicionales de películas infantiles. No obstante, a mi pequeña le encantó aunque no entendió su mensaje principal. A mis hijas mayores les conmovió la experiencia y algunas de nosotras también soltamos un par de lágrimas allí. A mi esposo le gustó también. Creo que fue una experiencia positiva para todos.

Otras películas con un mensaje ambientalista son Happy Feet y Hoot por ejemplo. Para los verdaderos amantes del cine ambiental en el área de Washington, recomiendo un ritual anual verde—el Festival de Cina Medioambiental en la Capital Nacional que usualmente se celebra en marzo.

Si va al cine, al parque o al zoológico para una jornada de diversión familiar, definitivamente debe hacerlo. Sin embargo, si prefiere utilizar su computadora para concienciar a los niños sobre la protección ambiental, o el reciclaje, o consejos de salud ambiental infantil, visítenos al www.epa.gov/espanol.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Make the World Your Classroom

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Lea la versión en español a continuación de esta entrada en inglés.
Some links exit EPA or have Spanish content. Exit EPA Disclaimer

As the school year comes to an end, many parents are in the predicament of finding activities to keep the kids entertained during the summer months. As a parent of a six year old, I want to find educational activities for her to do while I’m at work and on weekends.

Personally, I think this season is a golden opportunity to get the children interested in science AND, above all, in protecting the environment. The best part is that you can make it fun without letting them know that you are “teaching” them something. When talking about the environment any location can be your classroom—be it indoors or outdoors.

For example, while planting vegetables for the summer, you can teach the children about greenscaping. Playing outside or going to the beach are opportunities to talk to kids about protecting themselves from the sun’s powerful rays. And if there are any creepy crawlers in the home you want to get rid of now, visit an interactive Website in English and Spanish, Help! It’s a roach!

For parents of young children, I highly recommend some of EPA’s materials, in English and Spanish on the Planet Protectors Club. These are a series of workbooks and educational materials for young children designed in conjunction with teachers that basically focus on the three R’s reduce, reuse, and recycling of waste management.

Our Office of Solid Waste has other materials geared for middle school and high school students which have many applications.
Furthermore, two new publications, Working Together for a Healthy Environment and Teach English, Teach About the Environment help multilingual individuals and community groups learn more about recycling. Plus, there are numerous community service projects that enable students to apply the lessons learned in the classroom to real-life experiences.

OK. I’m getting off subject now. Let me go back to young children.

I must confess that as the mother of a six year old (and of three college students) I have also become aware of how much children learn from our example and daily comings and goings. Recycling has become second nature to them and I was very impressed by the little one reminding me not to get out of the house without sun block! Glad to know that I must be doing something right.

Que el mundo entero sea su salón de clase

Sobre la autor: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la EPA desde el 2002 y está a cargo del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Comunicaciones Multilingües. Como periodista, dirigió la oficina en Washington de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales.

Mientras se avecina el fin del año escolar, muchos padres están en el proceso de encontrar actividades para mantener a sus niños ocupados durante los meses de verano. Como madre de una niña de seis años, quiero encontrar actividades educativas para que ella se entretenga mientras estoy trabajando y durante los fines de semana.

Personalmente creo que esta época realmente se presta como una gran oportunidad para interesar a los niños en las ciencias y especialmente en la protección ambiental. Lo mejor de todo es encontrar algo divertido sin que ellos se den cuenta de que se le está “enseñando algo”. Cuando se habla del medio ambiente, cualquier lugar puede ser un aula escolar-sea en entornos interiores como exteriores. Por ejemplo, mientras esté sembrando legumbres y flores para el verano, puede enseñar a los niños sobre la jardinería ecológica. Mientras está afuera o en la playa también puede aprovechar para hablar a los hijos de cómo protegerse de los poderosos rayos solares. Y si ve algunos insectos indeseables invadiendo su hogar y quiere enseñar a los hijos sobre cómo eliminarlos, visite el sitio interactivo en inglés y español, ¡Socorro, una cucaracha!

A los padres de niños pequeños, le recomiendo alguno de los materiales educativos de EPA en ingles y español del Club de Protectores del Planeta. Son una serie de folletos y materiales educativos para niños diseñados en conjunto con maestros y se centran básicamente en las tres R’s de la gestión de desperdicios-el reducir, reutilizar y reciclar.

Nuestra Oficina de Residuos Sólidos tiene otros materiales para estudiantes de intermedia y de escuela superior. Además hay dos nuevas publicaciones, Trabajando juntos por un ambiente saludable y Aprenda inglés, aprenda sobre el medio ambiente que ayudará a individuos y comunidades multilingües a aprender más sobre reciclaje. Además hay numerosos proyectos de servicio comunitario que ayudan a los estudiantes aplicar las lecciones aprendidas en el salón de clase a experiencias de la vida real.

Bueno, estoy divagando. Regresemos a los niños.

Debo confesar que como madre de una niña de seis años (y otras tres universitarias) he cobrado consciencia sobre el hecho de que nuestros hijos aprenden mucho de nuestro ejemplo y acciones cotidianas. El reciclaje ya es un buen hábito que han internalizado y me impresiona el hecho de que mi pequeña es la que me recuerda antes de salir de la casa que tenemos que usar la crema de protección solar! Después de todo parece que estoy haciendo algo correctamente.

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